WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

21 November 2001

WTO launches the Joint Consultative Board for WTO-related training

At a meeting held at the WTO headquarters, the Joint Consultative Board for WTO-related Training held its inaugural session today in Geneva.

WTO Director-General Mike Moore told the Board “We have only just touched upon the opportunities offered by distance learning and more active skill-based networks in member countries. We do not want to duplicate what other institutions are doing. We want to cooperate with them and share facilities, the better to serve our Members. This is one way in which we are already implementing the Doha decisions on building capacity in a coherent manner.”

The Joint Consultative Board was created last June by the Director-General as part of the restructuring of the organization's technical cooperation and training activities, which also saw the establishment of the WTO Training Institute. The Board, which is a consultative entity acting in an advisory capacity, will monitor the training activities of the Training Institute on the basis of periodic meetings and reports, providing fresh ideas, expert advice and contributing to greater coherence among agencies involved in training activities.

To this end, the Director General has secured the participation of leading agencies, reputed academics and WTO experts as Members of the Board, including the World Bank, the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Professor Richard Baldwin, from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies, Professor Thomas Cottier, Managing Director of the World Trade Institute (Berne) and Director of the Institute of European and International Economic Law (University of Berne), and Professor Yvonne Van Rooy, from the Katholieke Universiteit Brabant in the Netherlands.

The WTO Members and the Secretariat will be respectively represented by the chairpersons of WTO bodies directly interested in training activities: the Committee on Trade and Development, the Sub-committee on Least Developed Countries and the Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration; by the directors of the Training Institute and the Technical Cooperation Divisions; and by three WTO experts in law, economics and training acting in their personal advisory capacity.